A new report by the Satellite Sentinel Project, “In Close Proximity: Alleged Abduction, Detention, and Extrajudicial Killings by Abu Tira,” documents proof that the Government of Sudan’s Central Reserve Police, or CRP, have engaged in war crimes against civilians and internally displaced people who sought refuge in the shadow of the U.N. compound in Kadugli, South Kordofan, Sudan.
Satellite imagery, provided by DigitalGlobe and analyzed by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, shows clear evidence of the buildup of fortifications and significant reinforcement of apparent CRP personnel and vehicles between June 2 and August 19, just 100 meters from the U.N. compound in Kadugli, South Kordofan.
The CRP, also known as “Abu Tira,” have a history of human rights violations and were operating in Darfur from 2003 through 2008. They have been accused of violent assaults, rapes, mass displacement, and recruitment of child soldiers, and yet still continue to operate as a branch of the Sudan National Police Service, or NPS. Now the CRP has moved to South Kordofan, where they work under Ahmed Haroun, the current governor of South Kordofan, who was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2007 on 22 counts of war crimes and 20 counts of crimes against humanity.
“Reliable sources have told us that South Kordofan Governor Ahmed Haroun, an indicted war criminal, built up a goon squad known as Abu Tira, and let them commit abductions and mass murder with impunity,” said Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw in the press release announcing the report. “Haroun is already notorious from his activities in Darfur and has now been caught promoting the same murderous tactics in South Kordofan.”
Eyewitness accounts provided by the Enough Project’s contacts on the ground reported abductions and killings in Kadugli starting June 5, and were corroborated by UNMIS reports of forced abductions.
This report chronicles evidence of the abduction and murder of a Nuban man Numeiri Philip Kalo, an SPLM-N supporter. Though the U.N. report of the incident was vague about the circumstances of Kalo’s death and the U.N.’s inability to prevent his abduction, eyewitness reports and a previous U.N. draft point to something much more sinister.
“He was taken away from the vicinity of the compound and gunshots were heard,” the report indicates. “Later he was discovered dead by UNMIS personnel and IDPs. Several sources confirmed that the victim was an active SPLM member.”
The Enough Project is calling on the United States government to impose sanctions on individuals who command and control Abu Tira by adding their names and any assets that they control to its Specially Designated Nationals list.
Photo: Image from today's report showing the build-up of a CRP base in Kadugli (DigitalGlobe)